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Course Details

UAVs for Environmental Monitoring

Cranfield University
School of Applied Sciences
Contact Provider
Short Course
Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

5 day course

Course overview

Small-scale Vertical Take Off (VTO) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are emerging as a key engineering tool for future environmental survey tasks. UAV aerial imagery offers both timely (on-demand) and more detailed (higher resolution) information than comparable satellite imagery. This course will introduce the main principles behind UAVs flight control, data capture, image processing and environmental interpretation/applications.

Course description

This five day course will cover the principles of UAV flight control (theory, practice and practical demo), image processing (data capture and analysis) and environmental applications (using data from different case studies). The course will strengthen current knowledge of UAVs for environmental science whilst also addressing wider relevant key elements on environmental sampling/monitoring protocols, data capture, analysis and interpretation.

Overall, this course consolidates the application of UAV technology by introducing environmental professionals and researchers to state-of-the art technology for environmental monitoring- a key skill gap identified by the Environment Sector.

Day one- Principles of UAV flight control

  • UAV flight control- review of the main operational features of UAVs (eg. quadrator dynamics, aerodynamic lifting surface, vehicle design parameters and CAA legislation)
  • Practical session- hands on session on UAV flight operation. Expected drones to be tested are Falcon 8, Draganflier X6 and eBee.

Day two- Image processing principles

  • Data capture- this will focus on the design of monitoring programmes (eg. number and location of ground control points, flight height, image resolution, image footprint). Industrial collaborators will support the theoretical concepts with practical examples
  • Data analysis - image processing techniques and methods (from off-the-shelf available image processing software to advanced image analysis methods) will be reviewed within this session.

Day three to five- Environmental applications

  • Case study one: UAVs for freshwater ecosystem monitoring
  • Case Study two: UAVs for Landscape monitoring
  • Case Study three: UAVs for environmental policy implementation.


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